Friday, May 23, 2014
D'Arnaud inching closer to return
By Adam Rubin
NEW YORK -- Travis d'Arnaud hit outdoors and was due to catch a bullpen session Friday as he works back from a concussion, although rain may interrupt the catching responsibility.
Terry Collins said d'Arnaud could be cleared by the team trainer and doctor later Friday to enter games. An MLB doctor then would need to review d'Arnaud's records and sign off.
Since d'Arnaud has not appeared in a game since getting struck on the top of the head 10 days ago, Collins said he expects the catcher will first go on a minor league rehab assignment, even if d'Arnaud needs only eight or 10 at-bats in the minors.
Gee delay: Dillon Gee looks like he will miss more than three turns in the rotation.
Gee would have needed to make a rehab start Sunday or Monday, coinciding with Rafael Montero's and Jacob deGrom's next starts, if he were going to displace one of those rookies the following turn through the rotation.
However, that's not possible, since Gee has yet to even get on a mound as he returns from a lat-muscle strain, according to Collins.
Gee continues to throw on flat ground and is progressing, the manager added.
Substitute closer: Jose Valverde will handle the closing duties Friday if the Mets have a late and narrow lead.
Jenrry Mejia got through throwing on consecutive days for the first time since 2010 fine, but Collins does not want to push things by trying for three straight days of work just yet. Soon, however, Mejia will work on three straight days. And that essentially will be the final step to Mejia becoming the full-time closer.
In his lone appearance against the Arizona Diamondbacks this season, Valverde surrendered ninth-inning homers to Aaron Hill and Paul Goldschmidt in a 5-2 win April 16.
Short coming: Collins suggested Wilmer Flores must be doing an adequate job defensively at shortstop because no one -- in a news conference or otherwise -- has asked the manager if Ruben Tejada would have completed a play that Flores was unable to execute. The manager added that Flores had made "enormous strides" in his footwork, balance and quickness since the last time he had seen Flores play shortstop.
Deep thoughts: Collins had a conversation with D-backs manager Kirk Gibson about Chris Young on Friday afternoon. Gibson told him that if C.Y. gets hot, he is capable of 25 to 30 homers. Collins hopes by starting Young on Friday against his former team, it will have the same positive result as when Curtis Granderson faced the Yankees and performed well.